‘I’m bored. Bored, bored, bored.’ (stamps foot)
Think this is The Teenager expecting me to entertain him? Nope. It’s me talking to a friend.
Something all the leaflets about all the symptoms of MS don’t cover is the sheer, mind-numbing boredom that comes with it.
MS itself is never boring – there’s the unexpected delight of waking up in the morning wondering just what symptom it will chuck at you today, and MS has a whole bag of them. But with these symptoms comes the crushing boredom.
Top of the list is the boredom that comes with having to sleep. A lot. It’s a huge time-waster, it’s not fun or cushy and there is nothing more boring than heading for the sofa – again – when there are so many other more exciting things to do. I’m bored of being in the house so much while life continues elsewhere. I’m bored of boring my friends with the endless symptoms:
‘How you doing?’
‘Oh, you know. I dropped a mug this morning. I tripped over the cat. I went to sleep. I had a bit of a wobble. How’s you?’
‘Well, after I partied all night, I had a fabulous day at work before whipping up a dinner party for eight. The usual.’
Then there’s the boredom that comes with all the planning. MS is like a stroppy, badly-behaved toddler you have to lug around – for life. Before you go anywhere, you plan where the loos are, you work out if there’s a cafe nearby to stop for a break, you pack a bag of stuff, you can’t stay out too late.
When your world shrinks and spontaneity is something you have to seriously think about, there’s not an awful lot of options left. Friends tire of always being bailed out on. I’m out of synch with them, going through an accelerated old age in my 30’s. The highlight of my day is getting a pen and marking an asterisk next to interesting programmes in the Radio Times. Years ago when I saw someone do this, I was scornful. How tragic, such an empty life. I mean, who does that? Um, well, me now.
So how can I combat this boredom? What can I do from the comfort and safety of my couch? Wordsearch puzzles? Solitaire? Spray-paint the cat purple? Any suggestions gratefully received.